Data privacy – could it affect the value of your business?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) recently announced big fines imposed on Flybe and Honda because of the way they have responded to new privacy legislation. Are you aware of the legislation – and could it affect the value of your business?

The new General Data Privacy Regulation (GDPR) comes into force in May 2018. Although they are EU laws, they are already on the UK’s statute book and if anything, it looks like the UK might tighten them after Brexit.  

The laws mean that you have to have an audit trail showing that you have explicit consent to contact people. Flybe and Honda had lots of contacts on their database where they didn’t know whether they had explicit consent to contact them or not. This is quite common for companies that have been gathering contacts for a long time. They wanted to continue marketing to them, so sent out an email asking these contacts to opt in to the marketing programme.

The Information Commissioner imposed fines of £84,000 in total because they said this email was itself a marketing communication and could not be sent. Many industry experts have been surprised by this decision. The consequences are huge.

It means that any business, from now, can only send direct marketing communications to customers where it has an audit trail showing explicit consent to receive them. Businesses that rely on sending direct marketing communications to customers could find that their available audience has suddenly shrunk – and the value of their business along with it.

Our Growth to Exit programme can help you understand the changes you will need to make to your business in order to maximise its value at sale.  Contact us if you would like to know more about maximising business value.


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